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Last Updated on 21 May 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 405: [thiasotai]


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Bithynia
iii. Site Kios


i. Full name (original language) [θιασῶται] (I.Kios 22, l. 1, cf. l. 21)
ii. Full name (transliterated) [thiasotai]


i. Date(s) i BC - i AD


ii. Name elements


i. Source(s) I.Kios 22 (l. hell. - e. imp.)
Note First edited in LBW 1143.
RICIS 308/0301
GRA II 101
Online Resources I.Kios 22
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Honorary inscription in Greek set up by the association for Anoubion son of Nikostratos.
i.c. Physical format(s) The inscription is now lost and no description of the monument appears in earlier editions. However the reference to τελαμῶνι λιθίνωι (telamoni lithinoi) in ll. 16-17 suggests that the honours awarded to Anoubion were engraved on a stele.
ii. Source(s) provenance The inscription was found on a street fountain behind the market of Gemlik (Kios) but is now lost.


ii. References to buildings/objects εἰκόνες γραπταὶ τέλειαι, eikones graptai teleiai (ll. 4-5, 14)
εἰκόνα γραπτὴ ἔνοπλος, eikona grapte enoplos (ll. 14-15)
τελαμὼν λίθινος, telamon lithinos (ll. 15-16)


iii. Members Referred to as θιασῶται, thiasotai (I.Kios 22 l. 21: [τῶ]ν θια[σωτῶν], [to]n thia[soton]).
iv. Officials The honorand served the association as τριήραρχος (trierarchos), an office related to commanding and equipping the ship which after having been purified and dedicated to Isis was launched at sea during the Πλοιαφέσια (Ploiaphesia). In this respect this office was similar to the office of ναύαρχος (nauarchos), attested elsewhere in similar context. See Foucart 1873: 118; Ziebarth 1896: 49; Vidman 1969: 166 and 1970: 81-2 and 87; Dunand 1973: 108-9; Corsten, I.Kios 22, pp. 102-3 (detailed analysis); Bricault 2005: 470.
Ἐπιμήνιος (epimenios) is another office of the association, related in this context with religious ceremonies performed on a monthly basis (Foucart 1873: 241; Ziebarth 1896: 49; Dunand 1973: 108-9; Corsten, I.Kios 22, p. 104 (with further bibliography). Ll. 18-21 of I.Kios 22 (κ]αὶ ἐπικη[ρ]ύγμασιν κατὰ μῆν[α]|δι’ ἐνιαυτο[ῦ το]ύ[των τῶν τιμῶν] | ἐ[ν τοῖς Ἰσιεί]οι[ς] καὶ ἐν [ταῖς] | [ἄ]λλα[ις ἑορταῖς τῶ]ν θια[σωτῶν], k]ai epikery[g]masin kata men[a]di eniauto[u to]u[ton ton timon] e[n tois Isiei]oi[s] kai en [tais a]lla[is heortais to]n tia[soton]) allude to such ceremonies.
Ziebarth (1896: 49) considered that the terms φιλαγαθήσας (philagathesas) and ἐγδεξάμενος τὰ Χαρμόσυνα (egdexamenos ta Charmosyna) also referred to offices in the internal organization of the association. Foucart (1873: 239 and 242) also understood φιλαγαθήσας (philagathesas) as a term denoting a ‘dignité’ or a ‘fonction’ within the association. However, the latter term should be better viewed as referring to benefactions offered by Anoubion (see for example TAM V.1 156 and 488 and the inscriptions mentioned by Corsten in I.. Apameia und Pylai, p. 54); Likewise, ἐγδεξάμενος τὰ Χαρμόσυνα (egdexamenos ta Charmosyna) is more preferably an expression denoting not a regular office in the association’s administrative apparatus but rather the duty and responsibility assumed by Anoubion - perhaps in the form of a liturgy - either to receive in his own house the sacred procession of Isis during the Χαρμόσυνα (Charmosyna) or to assume the cost of organizing this important Festival (cf. on this topic Vidman 1969: 166 and 1970: 82 and Dunant 1973: 109).


ii. Gender Men
Note The only known member, Anoubion, was a man.


i. Assemblies The proclamation of the honours awarded to Anoubion is to take place in ‘regular common assemblies’ of the association (I.Kios 22, l. 22-23: ἐν [ταῖς τεταγ]μέναις [κοι]ναῖς σύνοδοι, en [tais tetag]menais [koi]nais synodoi). These κοιναῖ σύνοδοι, koinai synodoi, are distinguished both from the Ἰσίεια, Isieia, and the other religious festivities organized by the association (I.Kios 22, l. 18-23: [κ]αὶ ἐπικη[ρ]ύγμασιν κατὰ μῆν[α]|δι’ ἐνιαυτο[ῦ το]ύ[των τῶν τιμῶν] | ἐ[ν τοῖς Ἰσιεί]οι[ς] καὶ ἐν [ταῖς] | [ἄ]λλα[ις ἑορταῖς τῶ]ν θια[σωτῶν] | [κ]αὶ ἐν [ταῖς τεταγ]μέναις [κοι]-|ναῖς συνόδοις, [k]ai epike[r]ygmasin kata men[a]di eniauto[u to]u[ton ton timon] e[n tois Isiei]oi[s] kai en [tais a]lla[is heortais to]n thia[soton k]ai en [tais tetag]menais [koi]nais synodois). It may be thus inferred that the koinai synodoi referred to regular deliberative assemblies, perhaps organized on a monthly basis.
ii. Meetings and events The association held several meetings:
a) the Ἰσίεια, Isieia, in honour of Isis
b) other religious festivals (ἄλλαι ἑορταί, allai heortai), probably organized on a monthly basis, as the existence of the office of ἐπιμήνιος (epimenios) in the administrative apparatus of the association and the stipulation that the honours awarded to Anoubion should be proclaimed every month of the year seem to indicate (see above under X.i: Assemblies).
iii. Worship The cultic activities of the association include the Ἰσίεια Isieia, in honour of Isis, which seems to have been the main religious event in the association’s calendar as it is the only one explicitly mentioned by name in I.Kios 22, ll. 18-23. The services provided by the honorand Anoubion indicate that other important festivals celebrated by the association in honour of Isis included the Πλοιαφέσια, Ploiaphesia, and the Χαρμόσυνα, Charmosyna, a festival related to the resurrection of Osiris after the regaining of his body parts by Isis and perhaps involving a sacred procession (see Corsten I.Kios 22, p. 104 with reference to Plut. Mor. 362d; cf. Foucart 1873: 118-9 and Dunant 1973: 109). Moreover, it seems that the association organized religious festivals on a regular monthly basis (cf. above field X.ii: Meetings and events).
Deities worshipped Isis and Osiris.
iv. Honours/Other activities As Corsten rightly pointed out (I.Kios 22, p. 102) the honorific inscription for Anoubion records collectively the honours awarded to him on four different occasions probably presented in chronological order:
a) After the end of the honorand’s term of office as τριήραρχος, trierarchos.
b) After another important benefaction as inferred by the term φιλαγαθήσας, philagathesas (cf. above under the field: Organization iii. Officials).
c) After the end of the honorand’s term of office as ἐπιμήνιος, epimenios.
d) After the honorand’s involvement in the celebration of the Χαρμόσυνα, Charmosyna.
To each specific occasion corresponded the following set of honours:
a) I.Kios 22, ll. 3-6: Two full size painted portraits (εἰκών γραπτὴ τελεῖα, eikon grapte teleia) and another painted portrait, apparently of smaller size (ἄλλη γραπτή, alle grapte) as a recognition of Anoubion’s serving as τριήραρχος, trierarchos, both in a manner worthy of the sacred nature of his duties (ἱεροπρεπῶς, hieroprepos) and with generosity (φιλοδόξως, philodoxos). On the significance of the terms eikon grapte andeikon grapte teleia see Corsten I.Kios 22, p. 103 with further bibliography.
b) I.Kios 22, ll. 7-8: A painted portrait (εἰκὼν γραπτή, eikon grapte), apparently not full size, in recognition of another unspecified benefaction.
c) I.Kios 22, ll. 9-10: A painted portrait (εἰκὼν γραπτή, eikon grapte ), apparently not full size, in recognition of Anoubion’s having served as ἐπιμήνιος, epimenios
d) I.Kios 22, ll. 11-17: Two full size painted portraits (εἰκὼν γραπτὴ τελεῖα, eikon grapte teleia), another painted shield portrait (εἰκὼν γραπτὴ ἔνοπλος, eikon grapte enoplos) and a stele of stone (τελαμὼν λίθινος, telamon lithinos), where apparently all the honours voted to Anoubion were to be inscribed, in recognition of the honorand’s serviced during the Χαρμόσυνα, Charmosyna. It was probably on this fourth occasion that it was decided to proclaim all the honours awarded to Anoubion every month of the year during the various events and meetings held by the association.
Clearly Anoubion, undoubtedly a major benefactor and a leading figure of the thiasotai of Isis at Kios, accumulated various and impressive honours: nine portraits (four full size ones, three simple ones and one representing him in arms), the proclamation of these honours in each meeting of the association and their inscribing on a stele. But it is also noteworthy that his honorific inscription allows us to grasp a sense of hierarchy of honours which probably corresponded to a differentiated public appreciation and evaluation of Anoubion’s several offices and services. Thus, to the office of epimenios and to the unspecified benefaction to which the term philagathesas alludes corresponded the seemingly more modest honour of a simple portrait. The proper fulfilment of the duties of trierarchos deserved the additional honour of two full size portraits. Finally, it was Anoubion’s involvement in the Charmosyna which was obviously evaluated as his most important contribution to the well–being of the association, both in its own right and as a climax of his previous benefactions. Hence what followed this involvement was not only the attribution of even higher honours (for example the imago clipeata) but also the provisions which guaranteed the preservation in perpetuity of his name and services in the collective memory and identity of the association: the stele comprising his honours and the monthly repeated proclamations – both of them not included in the decisions taken at the first three instances of Anoubion’s benefactions – served this purpose.


i. Comments The name of the body awarding the honours in l. 1 was restored as [θιασῶται] (thiasotai) by Foucart (1873: 240-241) who rejected the first editor’s (LBW 1143) reading: ὁ δῆμος (ho demos); cf. [τῶ]ν θια[σωτῶν] ([to]n thia[soton]) in l. 21.
On different suggestions for the date of Anoubion’s inscription (attributed either to the Hellenistic or the Early Imperial Period) see Magie 1953: 176 (perhaps Hellenistic); Vidman 1969: 165 and 1970: 82 (1st century AD); Dunant 1973: 107 (probably 1st century B.C.); Corsten (I.Kios 22, pp. 101-2) provides an overview of earlier scholarship; cf. also Bricault 2005: 169 no. 308/0301 and Fernoux 2004: 312.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 416
iii. Bibliography Ascough, R.S., Harland, P.A., and Kloppenborg, J.S. (2012), Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook. Berlin.
Bricault, L. (2005), Recueil des inscriptions concernant les cultes isiaques (RICIS) vol. 2 – Corpus. Paris.
Dunant, F. (1973), Le culte d’Isis dans le bassin oriental de la Méditerranée, vol. III. Le culte d’Isis en Asie Mineure. Clergé et ritual des sanctuaries isiaques. Leiden.
Fernoux, H.-L. (2004), Notables et elites des cités de Bithynie aux époques hellénistique et romaine (IIIe siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Essai d’histoire sociale. Lyon.
Foucart, P. (1873), Des associations religieuses chez les Grecs. Thiases, éranes, orgéons. Paris.
Magie, D. (1953), ‘Egyptian Deities in Asia Minor in inscriptions and on Coins’, AJA 57: 163-87.
Poland, F. (1909), Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens. Leipzig.
Vidman, L. (1969), Sylloge inscriptionum religionis Isiacae et Sarapiacae. Berlin.
Vidman, L. (1970), Isis und Sarapis bei den Griechen und Römern. Epigraphische Studien zur Verbreitung und zu den Trägern des ägyptischen Kultes. Berlin.
Ziebarth, E. (1896), Das griechische Vereinswesen. Leipzig.


i. Private association Certain
Note The term θιασῶται, thiasotai, as safely restored in l. 1, suggests that the body honouring Anoubion was a private religious association.